David Attenborough

David Attenborough

David Attenborough (far right) filming for the BBC. Photo by Louisa Gilbert.

David Attenborough – Life and Work

Sir David Attenborough was born 8 May 1926 in Isleworth, London. He is the younger brother of the late Lord Richard Attenborough. Where his elder brother was drawn to the stage, David Attenborough was instead drawn to study the natural sciences. His and his brother’s worlds would overlap as David Attenborough branched out into documentary filmmaking, a field in which Richard Attenborough became an unmistakable narrator.

Click here to enjoy David Attenborough’s most famous documentary, Planet Earth.

David Attenborough was more interested in work behind the camera, working his way up to be the controller of BBC Two. He eventually left the position because he found it restricted his ability to make the films he wanted. His body of work includes the epic documentaries The Blue Planet and Planet Earth, as well as the BBC Life series, which became benchmarks for quality wildlife filmmaking.

David Attenborough was also presenter for the documentary Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, which he wrote about fellow University of Cambridge alumnus and naturalist, Charles Darwin.

A number of newly discovered fossils and species have the distinction of being named in Sir David Attenborough’s honour.

A tireless environmental activist, Attenborough has spoken out against human destruction of the environment, from Amazon rainforests, to the culling of badgers in the UK. His works have striven to promote respect and value for nature.

David Attenborough at Cambridge

David Attenborough studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences from Clare College, University of Cambridge.

He was called away in 1947 for National Service, and served two years in the British Royal Navy.

Clare Hall Scholar's Garden

The Scholar’s Garden at Clare College. Photo by Jim Linwood.


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